ORICA GreenEDGE head to the Tour de Suisse this weekend aiming for stage victories during the nine-day WorldTour race. The Australian outfit have won a stage at every edition of the race since its inception in 2012 and are motivated to continue this winning trend bringing in a well-balanced eight-rider team.
Local Michael Albasini took the first Tour de Suisee victory for Orica in 2012 and after his impressive start to this season, including a second place in Liège-Bastonge-Liège, the 34-year-old is hoping to perform once again at his home race. Alongside him, stage four winner from last year’s race Michael Matthews returns to racing after a recent altitude block and will be surrounded by a strong support squad.
“We are going in with really high hopes of pulling off a stage win,” said sport director Neil Stephens. “We have some handy bike riders, really strong guys. The first possible stage win is right from the get go, I’m really sure Matthews can give the prologue a good hit out. He’s been working really well at altitude and has been working with his time trial bike over the last couple of weeks.
“He’s really keen to do well, as all the guys are but he’s proven in the past when he sets an objective to go well in a prologue he can pull it off as he did in Paris-Nice.”
With stage victories the main objective for ORICA-GreenEDGE the trio of powerhouses Sam Bewley, Luke Durbridge and Paris-Roubaix winner Mathew Hayman will provide valuable support especially in the early stages of the race.”
“We’ve got a lot of firepower for this race,” continued Stephens. “These guys can be really, really powerful in the first road stages. We aren’t going in with any real major climbers and that helps to strengthen up the team we have for the early stages.”
“We could be a bit light on by the end of the race, we know that right from the outset, but at the same time a few of these guys can hit out and really try their chances on the hillier final stages, especially Amets Txurruka. These guys usually work for other riders throughout the year have got a chance to shine towards the end of the week.”
Adding to the strength and speed of the team are the two Danish riders, Magnus Cort and Chris Juul-Jensen, who round up the eight man squad. Tour de Suisse begins on Saturday 11th June with a 6.4kilometre prologue in Baar.
Orica GreenEDGE riders in Tour de Suisse (11-19th June): Michael Albasini, Sam Bewley, Magnus Cort, Luke Durbridge, Mathew Hayman, Chris Juul-Jensen, Michael Matthews, Amets Txurruka
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Mathew Hayman michael albasini michael matthews orica greenedge Tour de Suisse